Asha Goldstein: 2021 candidate for Lincolnshire-Prairie View Dist. 103 school board
Seven candidates are seeking the four Lincolnshire-Prairie View Dist. 103 school board seats in the April 6, 2021, election. Janene Harris declined to respond to the questionnaire.
Occupation: Partner/Wealth Adviser, Vivaldi Capital Management
Civic involvement: Mikvah Challenge, Emerging Leaders Board, Chicago Foundation for Women, Professional Advisory Council, Jewish United Fund Chicago, Finance Committee, B'nai Tikvah, Board of Trustee and Education Chair, Illinois Holocaust Museum, Women's Board (Current), D103 Superintendent's Advisory Council for Equitable Education (SACEE) Committee, D103 Parent Volunteer Opportunities: Worlds Fair, field trips, International Night, classroom parties
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A: Running for the board is something I have considered doing for several years. However, I wanted to ensure that I was in a place in my life where I could give the position the full attention and time that it requires. My children are at a more independent age now and my professional experience lends itself well to the listening and problem-solving skills that are necessary to be an effective board member.
Q: How would you grade the current school board on its response to the pandemic? Why?
A: The pandemic has posed enormous challenges in various circumstances and on many different levels for everyone to overcome. While not all decisions or outcomes were ideal, we elected the current members of the board to serve the best interest of our children and our families, and I want to believe they did the best they could with the information and leadership they had.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?
A: I view my role as facilitating decisions based on facts regardless of popularity and bringing light to all voices despite my personal opinion. Transparency, honesty, and communication are of highest importance and I intend to uphold that standard.
Q: Did your district continue to adequately serve students during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: For me personally, yes, the district continued to serve my children well despite the disruptions of the pandemic. Remote learning vastly improved from last spring to the fall, and I believe special services were continued, to the extent possible, for most students who receive them. With that said, I recognize that every family is unique and what worked well for my family might not have worked well for others and vice versa.
Q: Do you have a plan on how to safely and effectively conduct classes in the spring? What have you learned from the fall semester that you would change in the spring?
A: Realizing that each district or school may have its own logistical challenges, I have paid attention to area schools that have successfully and safely brought students back to school. Neighboring districts have followed the science and recognize that unmasked time (such as lunch periods) are most risky in terms of potential transmission. Those schools brought kids back in a model that allowed for in-person instruction for all the families that desired it. Having students synchronous for half of the day and asynchronous for the other half allowed the benefits of in person instruction along with the least amount of COVID transmission risk.
Q: What is your position on allowing high school sports to continue during the pandemic? Be specific
A: If I were able to have input on After School Activities, I would encourage them to run if they were able to meet the CDC's guidelines as well as those recommended by the ISBE. If possible, find creative solutions such as utilizing outdoor space when available as well as offering remote options via zoom for those that are not comfortable with participating in person.